Back around 1999 or 2000 I stumbled across a poem on a website with an audio playing in the background. I loved it, lost track of it for a few years, tried to find it later and found a couple different audio versions that I couldn't stand to listen to, and finally... in the last couple years, there are a lot of versions of this on Youtube and on websites all over.
THIS is the audio I first heard with it - and the only version I can stand to listen to as the other men's voices reciting this poem on other videos and websites are like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard.
It's more true today than ever... and probably not going to get better any time soon. You can hit play to listen to the audio in the background if you like as you read the poem or if listening to the audio is not your thing, you can just read it.
... and ponder it over a nice cup of hot coffee.
THE GHOST OF VALLEY FORGE
I had a dream the other night I did not understand,
A figure walking through the mist, with flintlock in his hand.
His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed,
He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low he said:
"We fought a revolution to secure our liberty,
We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny.
For future generations, this legacy we gave,
In this, the land of the free and home of the brave.
The freedom we secured for you, we hoped you'd always keep,
But tyrants labored endlessly while your parents were asleep.
Your freedom gone - your courage lost - you're no more than a slave,
In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent,
Although you have no voice in choosing how the money's spent.
Your children must attend a school that doesn't educate,
Your moral values can't be taught, according to the state.
You read about the current "news" in a very biased press,
You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the IRS.
Your money is no longer made of silver or of gold,
You trade your wealth for paper, so life can be controlled.
You pay for crimes that make our Nation turn from God to shame,
You've taken Satan's number, as you've traded in your name.
You've given government control to those who do you harm,
So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm.
And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
Harass your fellow countryman while corrupted courts prevail.
Your public servants don't uphold the solemn oath they're sworn,
Your daughters visit doctors so children won't be born.
Your leaders ship artillery and guns to foreign shores,
And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people's wars.
Can you regain your Freedom for which we fought and died?
Or don't you have the courage, or the faith to stand with pride?
Are there no more values for which you'll fight to save?
Or do you wish your children to live in fear and be a slave?
Sons of the Republic, arise and take a stand!
Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land!
Preserve our Republic, and each God-given right!
And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright!"
As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came,
His words were true, we are not free, and we have ourselves to blame.
For even now as tyrants trample each God-given right,
We only watch and tremble -- too afraid to stand and fight.
If he stood by your bedside in a dream while you're asleep,
And wonder what remains of your right he fought to keep.
What would be your answer if he called out from the grave?
Is this still the land of the free and home of the brave?